Italy, was said to have one of their weakest teams in their history as they entered the Euro 2016. On the other hand, Belgium is considered as the rising star in European soccer. They host an array of top class players who have shown throughout the football season.
Italy has a group of older players who many thought were past their best. However, the opening match ended with Italy beat Belgium 0-2 to claim the spoils. In the end, the experience with the Italian side came through.
Some of the shining light in Italian football was 23 years old Paul Pogba. The former Man United man played beyond his ears and proved a leader on the pitch. Belgian superstars Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bryan, both taunted to win the footballer of the year award both suffered terrible games. Experts believe that Belgium needs to be careful lest they go the English way: having the best teams, but not winning any awards at the end.
Italy coach Antonio Conte was in an unusually happy mood, even got a bloody nose during the celebrations as he collided with one of his staff members. “The critics were all against us,” said the Italian coach. “But this is the beauty of football. You get the chance to prove people wrong if you have the determination and will to work like we have.”
Spain the European champions also won their opening match, 0-1. They have some of the most intricate ball-passing players in the game’s history. It was, therefore, no surprise when Sweden put 11 players behind the ball to stop them from playing. In the end, one goal got them the three points.